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Presidential Debate Vies For TV Audience With Monday Night Football


A lot of people watching that debate last night on a night when usually Monday Night Football is the big thing. Americans crowded into events spaces across the country for debate-watching parties. Tammy Conrad (ph) was one of them. She watched the debate at a Trump campaign sponsored gathering in Fair Oaks, Calif.

TAMMY CONRAD: Yes, it's important to Americans that this election really does count because of America's safety and morals.

GREENE: In San Francisco, John Fry (ph) was at Hi Tops. It's a crowded sports bar in the Castro District, with primarily Clinton supporters in attendance. He says people showed up because they expected the debate to be entertaining, but also because it's an important moment in this election.

JOHN FRY: I'm sure everyone here has made up their mind already who they're voting for, including me, but it just seems so critical in terms of a lot of people making a decision.

GREENE: Meanwhile, Tyson Carball Mason (ph) watched the debate at Gracie's in downtown Salt Lake City, at an event organized by Hillary for Utah.

TYSON CARBALL MASON: This just seems like a seminal moment in our country's history. And to not be a part of it, I'd be remiss.

GREENE: And in Tennessee, Taylor Raboin one was at an event organized by his friend Joshua Rawlings, who's the vice chairman of the Nashville Young Republicans. And he explained to us why he turned down.

TAYLOR RABOIN: Honestly, the social aspect of it - talking to everyone else here. I'm a little apathetic at this point towards the election and don't feel like I could be swayed towards anyone.

GREENE: And let's go to Watertown in upstate New York. Sandra Beach (ph) was at Bistro 108. She's a regular there, but said she showed up last night to watch history in the making.

SANDRA BEACH: I want to see Trump squish Hillary. This is a big debate. This is probably one of the biggest presidential debates ever. This is going to turn the country one way or the other.

GREENE: And down the road at a bar called Maggie's on the River, there were a handful of men gathered in front of a television for a more traditional Monday night activity.

MIKE MARJA: We are DVRing the debate and watching football. It's multitasking.

GREENE: Mike Marja (ph) and his friends say hanging out with the guys every Monday is more important than watching the debate live, just as long as no one spoils what happens. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.